Starting the first Tuesday in December, every Tuesday till mid-March, the Lalbenque Truffle Procession takes place, starting at 2pm, in the main street of Lalbenque "la rue du Marché aux Truffes".
The aromatic perfume pervades the main street and nearby lanes, buyers and tourists press each other around the stalls, where producers offer their harvest for sale. These producers are happy to sell to you…
The inhabitants of Cahors, les Cadurciens, are proud of their beautiful town, renowned for the quality of its vineyards. Situated at equal distances from the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees, le Pays de Cahors is a country of limestone rock highlands, but also of alluvial plains in valleys. The visitor to this region will be able to discover a gastronomic and historical treasure trove when he or she visits the ancient town, the mediaeval city, la Cathédrale Saint Etiene, the ramparts and the Valentré Bridge… Situated on a peninsula formed by the loop of le Lot, surrounded by hills, Cahors is a stop not to be missed.
Vertiginous citadel, sacred city, Rocamadour has written in the limestone a fabulous human and spiritual story..
Impressive lookout over the Alzou Canyon, this mythical place, inhabited by a cult of the Black Virgin, has remained across the centuries a symbol of faith and hope.
Grottes de Lascaux
The Lascaux Cave is one of the most important ornate Palaeolithic caves that exists, in terms of both number and aesthetic quality of its works. It is sometimes nicknamed the “Sistine Chapel of Wall Paintings” The paintings and engravings that it conceals have not permitted precise direct dating: their age is estimated at between 18 000 and 15 000 years before the present age, based on dating and analyses performed on objects discovered in the cave. They have been associated for many a long time with the ancient Magdalenian period, but more recent studies show that they might be datable to the Soultrean which precedes it.
Chemin de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle GR65
One of the most ancient roadways in the world passes in front of the Saint-Géry Estate! This immensely beautiful meander begins at Puy-en-Velay and finishes up in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, at least in terms of the section that goes through France. Crossing through a little less than a quarter of France in a northeast/southwest direction, the GR65 passes through some truly extraordinary villages. The pilgrimage of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle (St. James’ Way) is a Christian pilgrimage which leads to the town of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain), where the relics of Saint James, apostle of Christ, are preserved. In the Middle Ages, it counted among the three great pilgrimages that every good Christian was supposed to perform.
Reconstructed in the main at the turn of 15th and 16th centuries the fortress of Bonaguil constitutes an excellent example of adaptation of castle architecture for extensive use during a new era of firearms. It is the anachronistic work of a nostalgic and megalomaniac baron, pining for the prerogatives of a feudal age in its death throes.
The Château de Mercuès was for twelve centuries summer residence of the bishops of Cahors. The feudal majesty of the place can be rediscovered in the bedrooms, which open out onto the valley, the vineyard and the French gardens. In the kingdom of the truffle, foie gras and wine, the cuisine is, of course, open and generous. In the cellar storehouse, veritable subterranean cathedral, the great Cahor wines of Georges Vigouroux are cultivated and brought to fruition.
Known also under the appellation « ville du Chasselas », from the name of a grape classed by the AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controlée), cultivated by agricultural operators all over the canton, the town of Moissac was, during the second world war, a refuge for the important group the Eclaireurs Israélites de France (EIF). Not to be missed, the ancient abbey church of Saint-Pierre, with its gate from 1130, one of the chefs d’œuvre of Romanesque sculpture!
Community situated 30 km from Cahors, at the heart of the Parc naturel régional des Causses du Quercy. Considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France, Saint Cirq Lapopie is a museum village which is registered as such almost in its entirety and well-known by artists, including André Breton, who now lives in the old Auberge des Mariniers (Mariners’ Inn). The view is impressive from the top of the 80 metre cliff which dominates, with the ruins of three castles and an imposing church from the 15th[??] century possessing a Romanesque apse.
Situated 25 km from Cahors in le Quercy blanc, the town of Montcuq reclines upon a green hill which dominates over the course of Barguelonnette Stream and the vineyards of Chasselas. The mediaeval streets, on occasion stepped and always steep, climb the assent to the rocky dome known as « la roque », crowned by a high, solitary and vertical keep, constructed out of a tower and a rectangular turret.
From its summit, Lauzerte has surveyed since the 12th century the Cahors-Moissac route and the Barguelonnette and Lendou Rivers. The town, which is one of the most beautiful villages in France and is fortified, having been reconstructed in 1830, used to receive pilgrims and beggars on the Saint James Way.
Gouffre de Padirac
The first tourist visits here took place on the 1st November, 1899, with the minister for Public Instruction, Georges Leygues, presiding. Today 2km of galleries (out of more than 40 km in total) can be visited. Since the 1930’s, access to the underground river has been possible via elevator, the rest of the visit being done on foot and by boat. Padirac holds the record for tourist visits to a subterranean site in France: more than 350 000 guests in 1991. 85 people, most of them seasonal workers, are employed by the société d'exploitation spéléologique du gouffre de Padirac (the society for cave exploration, or “spelunking,” of the Padirac Chasm).
Sitting on an escarpment plateau 153 metres in altitude, the town of Puymirol is an ancient fortified town from the thirteenth century built by Rayomond VII, count of Toulouse, on lands ceded by Pierre de Reims, bishop of Agen. The date of 1246 is given for foundation of this place, reputed to be impregnable.
Town officially recognized for its art and history, Montauban is a town attractive to tourists, yet sometimes a little smothered by the justified interest in its sisters-in-arms Toulouse and Albi. Founded in 1144 by the Count of Toulouse, as were numerous little towns in the southwest (les bastides), she corresponds perfectly to the characteristics typical of this genre: the trace of its streets cut across in defined right-angles a rectangular town square. The ancient centre is thus very homogeneous in the sense that no modern buildings disrupt the harmony of the brick facades, all of which were, in general, erected in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Rich in features of heritage, Caillac is the site of a mysterious church. Everyone agrees that there is here within an original Romanesque edifice present in its foundations, but its beginnings remain otherwise poorly understood. The earth has made to Caillac a magnificent gift in furnishing it with soils which, from the banks of the Lot, extend to the foot of the hills: the rocky soil from ancient floods, stony and rich in iron, which gives to the wine of Cahors its body, colour and bouquet. Caillac harbours the Château Lagrezette, well-known among lovers of wine.
Accessible from Souillac (via the A20 interchange), Lacave is situated along the Sarlat-Rocamadour axis. Tourists come in particular to visit the Caves of Lacave and the prehistoric park Préhistologia, recently installed here, but subsequently end up being seduced by a countryside rich in contrasts, from the Valley of the Dordogne, to the Valley of l'Ouysse, to the Causse Plateau. Its architectural heritage is also remarkable, with its registered and officially classified sites: l'église de Meyraguet, le château de Belcastel, le château de la Treyne, and others...
Classed as a town of artistic and historical significance, it is know for having the world’s largest concentration of classified or registered historical monuments. Situated in le périgord noir, Sarlat is a mediaeval citadel which developed around an impressive Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin. In 1965, the two communities of La Canéda and Sarlat merged under the name of Sarlat-la-Canéda. Sarlat’s architecture is the reason this is the most frequented tourist site in the Dordogne, and the fourteenth in France, with some 1.5 million visitors each year.
Hôtel de luxe and Guest House, Southern Périgord, in Montcuq en Quercy, between Cahors and Moissac. The Saint-Géry Estate near Rocamadour, Sarlat and Padirac, is classed under Châteaux and Hôtels of France - Bonne table. Gourmet cuisine based around Truffles.